The Practical Mac

10 Holiday Gift Ideas for Mac Users

- 2002.12.10 - Tip Jar

It's that time of year again. Thoughts turn to building snowmen, getting out of work or school due to snow/ice, and what to get Aunt Maggie this year. It will be hard to top the salad shooter you gave her last year, but you resolve to try. The Practical Mac will endeavor to assist you in your holiday gift-buying. Here are a few suggestions for the people on your gift list. Most are suitable for the budget-conscious, but a few are probably better purchased on the easy payment plan.*

Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar"

A lot of us have held off on making this upgrade due to the cost. If you know someone like this, why not get them the gift they won't/can't buy for themselves! List price is $129, but it can often be found for less.

An iPod

This is not just another MP3 player. In conjunction with applications such as iSync, Address Book, and iCal, it has much of the functionality of a Palm handheld, with much more storage capacity. Prices are $299, $399, or $499 depending on the hard drive capacity (5, 10, or 20 GB). Refurbished units (when you can find them) are sometimes as much as $100 less.

Palm Zire

The entry-level Palm handheld, the Zire has a suggested list price of $99 and can be readily purchased for $5-$10 less. It does not do email, but otherwise has most of the functionality of its higher-priced cousins.

Kingston USB 6-in-1 flash memory card reader/writer

Accepts CompactFlash card, SmartMedia card, MultiMediaCard, Secure Digital card, Memory Stick, and IBM MicroDrive. Best of all, it is only $29!

irock Wireless Music Adapter

Plug the irock 300W into the headphone jack of an MP3 player or portable device (such as the Apple iPod) and transmit to your FM stereo in any of four preset frequencies. Great for use at home or in the car. $29

D-Link DWL-900AP+ AirPlus Enhanced 2.4 GHz Wireless Access Point

Lists for $119; readily available for under $100. Fully 802.11b compliant - AirPort on the cheap!

Fujifilm 32 MB USB Storage Key Drive

The Fujifilm USB Drive simply plugs into a computer's USB port and becomes an external drive. Saving files to it is just like saving files to a hard drive; files can be saved directly to the drive or can be copied onto it by dragging and dropping. Despite its miniature size and light weight, once plugged into a USB port of a computer, the Fujifilm USB Drive will act like any other external storage device. The Fujifilm USB Drive supports complete and instantaneous plug and play interoperability on the latest Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, with no software drivers required. $39.99

Fireblaster 16x10x40x External Firewire CD-RW Drive

For adding a CD-RW drive to your Mac, this is an affordable alternative to replacing the original CD or DVD drive (not to mention the fact that installation is much easier than opening up that CRT iMac). $89.99 after rebate. For older Macs without a FireWire port, try the Iomega CD-RW 24x10x40 USB 2.0 drive (compatible with USB 1.1) for $138.99.

Apple eMac

The entry-level all-in-one eMac is now $999 (after rebate) at the Apple Store. A Mac with a G4 processor for under $1,000 is absolute astounding.

Apple iBook

The entry-level iBook is now $999 at the Apple Store. An Apple notebook for under $1,000 is equally astounding!

* All prices are approximate and are given as of the time of writing. Subject to change without notice.


Clarification: In last week's article, I implied that Move2Mac dumped all the files not in the "My" folders on the PC into the "Migrated PC FIles" folder on the Mac, when it actually recreates the same folder structure on the Mac as on the PC and puts that under Migrated PC Files. What's more, if you have a C and D drive on the PC, it creates the folder structure on the Mac as Migrated PC Files/C Drive/... and Migrated PC Files/D Drive/....

The net result is that your files are in folders of the same names under these top level names, making it easier to find than than if it had just dumped them all into one folder. I knew this, because I had a number of files and directories which were migrated in this manner. I apologize for not making that clear in the article. LEM

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Steve Watkins is the Vice President for Information Technology for a mid-sized bank, an attorney, and an Army Reserve JAG on extended active duty. He has been a Mac user for about 12 years. He has owned some PCs along the way - but always came back to the Mac. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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